HB 2719 on Hold

On January 23rd the House Committee on Local Government conducted a hearing on HB 2719.  You can view that hearing on TVW.  (Starts at about 20 min, then has a break and then then public testimony begins at about 40 min.)

On its face, the bill appears very simple in that it simply raised the population whereby a city would be required to have a LEOFF 1 Disability Board from 20,000 to 30,000. Since many small cities have very few LEOFF 1 members either active or retired some of them wish to avoid the costs of managing a disability board.  In contrast other cities already with established disability boards but under the 30,000 population level wish to maintain local control of their disability board rather that forfeit that responsibility to the County board.

Further, since each board determines their level of medical coverage for certain benefits a LEOFF 1 member moving from one board could be negatively impacted with a diminution of benefits.  In like manner, the City might find they are responsible for paying benefits at a higher level to meet the County standard.

Dick Warbrouck, president of the RFFOW, testified as supporting the bill but raised the concerns mention above and asked that time be given for more consideration to address these concerns.  It was suggested that the 20,000 level might be available for those already at that level and optional for those cities coming into that level.

On Wednesday, Representative Sherry Appleton, Chair of the House Local Government Committee has advised that she will hold HB 2719 in Committee.  The bill was scheduled for executive session tomorrow and would have been voted out. Representative Appleton requested a meeting with Dick Warbrouck to discuss the concerns he addressed.

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